Decision on South Melbourne FC bid for A-League expansion

To all players, parents, members and supporters,

Today at 11:49am I was contacted via phone by FFA Board Chairman Chris Nikou and FFA CEO David Gallop. I was advised one Melbourne-based bid was selected for an expanded A-League licence and this was the Western Melbourne Group. The full details on the A-League expansion was announced at an FFA media conference at midday today.

We are naturally disappointed the decision made by the FFA Board did not include South Melbourne to receive an expansion licence at this time. We are however cognisant of the Board’s difficult position making a decision considering the strengths of the various bids.

We are confident South Melbourne FC is and will remain a viable option for an A-League licence in the future. The preference of the Western Melbourne Group means our main supporter base and catchment area in the south and south-east of Melbourne remains unaffected by the expansion announcement today. We feel South Melbourne FC will continue to be an option for further expansion in the future.

We look forward to engaging with FFA Board members and management in the coming weeks and months to better understand the opportunities available to the club to further strengthen our position for the next round of A-League expansion.

We are a club with a proud 60-year history and we plan to be around beyond another 60 years. We will always embrace an ethos which embraces multicultural diversity, equally embraces women’s, men’s and youth development and encourages an environment where any club in the country can aspire to and reach the highest level in Australian football.

Our efforts to this point have been building for fourteen years and more specifically over the last twelve months. Investment has been made in resources to present our bid and these will not have been wasted as the club is in a stronger position as a result. As the only bid with an operating club and football department, we are able to capitalise on these efforts effective immediately.

I would like to acknowledge the contribution on my fellow bid team members and the leadership they have shown in this journey. I would also like to thank the broader South Melbourne family and the ongoing commitment of our players, parents, members and supporters who have and will continue to serve the club for years to come.

We recognise the positive and engaging support the South Melbourne FC community has provided throughout this process. We look forward to their unified voice supporting the club and our teams throughout 2019 and beyond. We will now turn all our attention to the coming season and continuing our success both on and off the pitch.

Whilst today was not our day, our time will come. We are here. We are ready. We are South Melbourne.

Regards

Bill Papastergiadis
Chairman, South Melbourne FC